Ethics and Police Management: The Impact of Leadership Style on Misconduct by Senior Police Leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia
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Serious misconduct by senior police leaders can negatively impact the public's trust in the police in two ways. Firstly, by failing to meet the more obvious expectations of leading by example, misconduct by police leaders are likely to bring institutional damage to the police (Holmes, 2010). Secondly, by the nature of any misconduct which appears to attack those whom they are tasked with protecting, police leaders may project a negative organisational image with more sinister overtones (Alpert & Noble 2009, p. 8). Public disquiet is likely to be considerable when police are found to be breaching the unwritten social contract of democratic policing and effectively showing contempt for democracy itself (Brewer & Brewer, 1994). This paper contends that while ethical behaviour amongst front line officers is crucial to maintaining public confidence, evidence of a chief officer's corrupt or unethical conduct may ultimately be more corrosive because of the implied betrayal of values and trust by the leader. The public impact of unethical practice by leaders versus that of front line police corruption cannot be easily measured through empirical data analysis. Surveys concerning trust and/or confidence in the police often harvest a range of responses against differing contexts (Allen, 2006; Cao, Frank & Cullen, 1996; Skogan,1994). This study focuses on the theoretical discussion surrounding the impact of deviant police leadership and its potential damage to police institutions in United Kingdom (UK) and Australia. Key words: Police management, ethics, police misconduct, police corruption, leadership.
International Journal of Management and Administrative Sciences
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Causes and Prevention of Crime